Far from it! Things are very much alive, in fact. What with getting a new job and moving to London, it feels as if I've barely had time to think, let alone write a blog! But things have finally settled down and I'm back to spew my thoughts all over the internet.
The long absence was to focus all my efforts on my job search. I'd reached a point at Streeten Design where I felt like I'd plateaued. I needed a new challenge. A development-related challenge, not another career swap challenge - I'd had quite enough of those, thanks.
I began furiously working on new projects for my portfolio, updating my CV and applying for jobs. Time went by without hearing anything. This wasn't part of the plan. Eventually I got contacted by a recruiter about a job at Sky, went for an interview and the rest is history. I've been there for three months now and I honestly don't think I'll ever work at a better office for the rest of my life!
They have - in no particular order - a gym, a cinema, a cashless Waitrose, heavily subsidised meals, free shuttle buses to the train stations, free fruit/tea/coffee/hot chocolate, a Halfords, cycle scheme, drying room with shower/changing facilities, an elevated glass studio in the atrium where Sky News is being filmed (yes I'm one of the people you see wandering around in the background), a mail room where you can have your parcels delivered to, characters from the Sky shows randomly wandering around the office (Deadpool, White Walkers from Game of Thrones etc), amazon lockers and amazing pizza for a third of the price of Pizza Express. You just know I love that last one the most...
The building I'm in is crazy, it's three times the size of Heathrow's terminal 5, and has 5000 people working there. To say it's a slight contrast to Streeten, where it was just the boss and I, is a bit of an understatement! Definitely loving it though, and definitely feeling like there's good opportunity for progression. That was one of my main criteria when job hunting - it had to be an environment where I had the chance to learn from more experienced colleagues and gradually work my own way up to a higher position.
The other big change is finally moving away from the coast and back up to London. Of course, that had been the plan right from when I first started searching for a development job a couple of years ago. But then the position at Streeten Design in Hastings cropped up and it was too good an opportunity to pass up, a chance to get my foot in the door. But this time around I've got my job in West London, and I ended up moving to Camden. Googling "cool places to live in London" was pretty much my strategy when I was deciding on where to go! Commuting from Camden to work isn't too horrific, and at the same time it's still close to all the other areas of London when going out. Perfect compromise.
It feels good to take the next step up the ladder, and get a job where I know it can make a huge difference to my career. Not just now, but in years to come as well.
What a relief to finally get this post out the door. I've literally had "write blog post" on my to-do list now for months, but I'm only now finally getting around to actually doing it! I find my mind has to be in a certain happy place, and after securing a job and a place to live in London I can finally get back into a routine. Plus who doesn't love ticking items off to-do lists? Blog post, done.